Adrian Mannarino entered Sunday’s Libema Open final having lost his first six ATP Tour championship matches. But the lefty would not be denied, defeating Aussie Jordan Thompson 7-6(7), 6-3 to earn his first crown. The 30-year-old had previously reached two grass-court finals, both in Antalya. But he finally broke through in ‘s-Hertogenbosch against Thompson, a first-time ATP Tour finalist.
ATPTour.com caught up with Mannarino after his win…
How does it feel to be holding your first ATP Tour trophy?
That feels pretty good. This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time now. I’ve been losing many finals before achieving this first title, so it feels pretty good.
Was this a goal that you’ve had as a junior and did you think it would take this long, at age 30, to do it?
Actually I didn’t have a real goal when I was a junior. My ambition was to be one of the Top 100 players. With time I saw that my ATP Ranking was getting better. I was not far from getting a title. Ever since I got my first final in Auckland in 2015 I really wanted a title badly. It took time, but I finally made it and it’s something that I’ll have forever.
Did you go into your seventh final with a different mindset after losing your previous six?
Not really. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been handling my stress better than the other times. I don’t think the quality of the match was the best. But there is always a first time and actually I don’t really care about the way I played. I’m just happy that I finally made it and I feel that if I have to play another final in the future it is going to be way easier after winning a title already.
What do you think you did well during the week to put together five wins in a row for the first time?
I’ve been pretty consistent during the whole week. I’ve been playing with some really good players and I was not expecting to beat these kind of players, especially on grass. But I was feeling good on the court, I was enjoying my game and just battling all the time and I finally got through match after match. I don’t really know the reason why I finally won this week, but that’s alright.
You dropped the first set against Verdasco, Goffin and Coric. What does that require from you mentally to come back?
It was not that hard mentally. I was enjoying my game. It was a really cool match, especially against David. I like the way he’s playing. I always have a lot of fun playing against him. It was cool, I was feeling good on court after a couple months on clay courts where I was not playing my best. So I was just happy about the way I was playing and I finally got through some tough matches, but I was not thinking that much. I was just enjoying the moment.
Now that you’ve won your first title, what are your next goals?
My goal is to try to do my best day after day, whether in practice or during my matches. I’m trying to be as professional as I can. I don’t think about goals in terms of rankings or tournaments, I’m just going on court every day and trying to do my best. So I’ll stay with that goal and see what the future will bring.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are today?
There are a lot of people of course, especially when I was a kid growing up playing at a little club. My parents have been doing a lot of sacrificing to get me to this level and also my family. I had a lot of coaches and physical coaches and I’d like to thank all the people who were involved in this project and finally made it possible for me to get a title and maybe more in the future.